Posted on Leave a comment

Welsummer Chickens in the Breed Spotlight

Two Welsummer Hens

Welsummer chickens come to us from the village of Welsum in eastern Holland. First arriving in the United States in 1928, this breed is beloved for its handsome appearance and its prolific egg laying.

Physical Attributes

Welsummer chickens are mid-size, upright birds with a broad back, full breast, large full tail and a single comb. The original plumage color is a red-and-black partridge pattern. This variety entered the American Standard of Perfection in 1991. Although other varieties are now available, partridge remains the most popular.

One reason for the enduring popularity of the partridge variety is that it is autosexing. Newly hatched pullets differ from the little cockerels by having darker markings on their heads and backs.

Welsummers are a fast growing breed. Roosters mature to around 7 pounds, hens to 6 pounds.

Breed Qualities

Although Welsummer chickens make good meat birds, they are most often thought of as layers. The hens start laying at 5 or 6 months of age and will produce 200 or more medium to large eggs per year.

The eggshells are various shades of dark brown, often sporting darker brown speckles. As with other breeds that lay eggs with brown shells, the color gets lighter as the laying cycle progresses. After the fall molt, the shells will be darker and the eggs will be slightly larger than those of the previous year.

The trade-off for good egg production is that Welsummer hens seldom brood. When they do, they are not especially good mothers.

Welsummers are an all-climate breed that adapts well to both cold and warm conditions. Which makes sense, since the temperatures in their home town of Welsum can dip below freezing in winter, yet reach 90°F in the heat of summer.

Welsummers are active, inquisitive chickens that enjoy foraging. They are among the best breeds for free ranging, and their multi-color plumage pattern makes them less likely to attract predators.

This breed is friendly and docile, and not at all aggressive. Welsummer chickens make a wonderful addition to any backyard flock.

Helpful Links

What’s the Difference between Sex Link and Autosex Chickens?

How to Tell Which Hen Has Started Laying

Welsummer Chickens Offered by Cackle Hatchery®

Official Welsummer Club of North America

And that’s today’s news from the Cackle Coop.

Gail Damerow has written numerous books about poultry, including The Chicken Encyclopedia.

Leave a Reply